Astros: Top 10 non-prospects that surprised with big impacts
10. Shane Reynolds
Coming in at number 10, Shane Reynolds starts off our list. Drafted in the 3rd round of the ’89 MLB draft, the University of Texas product, never cracked the MLB Top 100 list, as the Astros had a plethora of prospects that were in front of him. Kenny Lofton, Bobby Abreu, Jeff Bagwell just to name a few.
At the ripe ol’ age of 22, Shane Reynolds made his Major League debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 22, 1992. He went 3.2 innings, gave up six earned runs, and only struck out two. Reminds me of Corbin Martin. The Astros would go on and win that game 11-8, but Reynolds probably thought his career was over after that.
In 1992, he would go on to pitch 25 innings and get demoted after only eight games. After spending the 1993 season in the minors, Reynolds attacked the 1994 season with the goal of sticking in the rotation.
That year, he helped the Astros achieve greatness in a season of “What could be”. Due to the players strike, his season was cut short as he posted a 3.04 ERA, 8-5 record, and 110 strikeouts over 124 innings of work.
1996 saw Reynolds garner some respect from the MLB community as he received a few votes for the Cy Young Award which ended up going to the true winner John Smoltz. In 1998, Reynolds finished with a career-high 19 wins, and in 2000 Reynolds found himself voted to his first All-Star Game.
From 1992 thru 2002, Reynolds was a mainstay for an Astros rotation that relied on his ability to eat innings and miss bats. His Astros career spanned ten years in which he went 103-86, amassing 20 complete games (7 of which were shutouts), 1309 strikeouts over 1622 innings, and a 3.95 ERA.